Rejection Rituals

As part of my weekly writing schedule, one day a week I submit work to various literary magazines or online journals. I can honestly say that so far it’s worked! Granted I’ve only been working off my new schedule for two weeks, but hey, it’s a start =). I started my new writing schedule last week and wanted to make sure I had the rules laid out clearly.

  1. I can submit poetry, flash, contest submissions, short stories, or any other type of prose.

That’s it. I like simplicity.

The only thing left to do was a choose a day. On Mondays I only get about an hour, or an hour and a half to ‘work’ and when I write, I like having big chunks of undisturbed time. Especially if I’m working on revisions, which can require a bit of mental multitasking. Every week I was stressing myself out about how little I accomplished on Mondays, which meant they were the perfect choice for submission days. Now I had a rule and a day. Read more

Thursday Thoughts – Mud and Fingerprint Mazes

On Thursdays I normally share random thoughts, objects or ideas I plan to use as writing inspiration or prompts.

Last week Stockholm was a winter wonderland. This week? Well, let’s just say I ran across Frosty the Snowman earlier. He’s nothing but a puddle now. In fact, most of the fields around our home are giant lakes. The kids are in love with it. But you’d think one puddle is good enough, right? Nope. They must brave Every. Single. Puddle. to see how high the water reaches. Thankfully, the deepest puddle they could find, the one on the soccer field, only comes to their knees.

Which brings me to this week’s Thursday Thoughts. What am I thinking about today? Read more

Imagine What An Alligator Would Do and Other Ways I Motivate Myself

In our home, silly gets a good place. Somewhere between the hot water boiler and the computer. We’ve come to rely on it, fall back on it, pull it out when we’re stressed and a number of other clichés I could fit in here. We’re silly people, what can I say? So a typical dinner conversation might be:

Son: What is ice made of?

Husband: Pants. Really cold pants.

And we’re all okay with that. I guess at some point a member of our family who knows science pipes in and provides the correct answer, which is handy for kids learning the basics and succeeding in school. I’m aware of what ice is made of, but I usually stay away from the science questions because I do want them to succeed in the school area. Read more

Thursday Thoughts – Graffiti and Bicycle Wheel Conspiracies

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On Thursdays I normally share random thoughts I plan to use as writing inspiration or prompts.

Stockholm is still freezing, though today it’s a mild -10 degrees. I’ve perfected the art of wearing two pairs of pants at the same time and I can now do at least thirty different tasks while wearing my gloves. If I can’t do the task, it isn’t worth doing. The good news is I haven’t lost any body parts to frostbite yet. We also celebrated a birthday party this weekend, and at the beginning of the week we had our first administration/planning meeting for my writing group. Busy, but fun week so far. And now I get to write about ideas or objects that inspire me to write a story.

So what am I thinking about today?  Read more

Writing Projects Update

Today’s post is a short one. I really just wanted to take the time to recap where I am on my writing projects.

Flameborne — The sequel to Ashborne. I gotta tell you, I’m loving this book. New plot twists. New challenges. Poor Joelle. The revision process is about halfway completed. It’s taken longer than expected because last year we had a little family chaos. But I have a new writing schedule, and I hope to have the revisions completed before spring. After that, it’ll go off to beta readers, an editor, and I’ll contact an artist for the cover design. Yay!!! It’s hard to believe sometimes this will be my second published book. If you haven’t read the first one yet, click here to get it.  Read more

Thursday Thoughts – Seaweed Parties and Giants

On Thursdays I normally share random thoughts I plan to use as writing inspiration or prompts. It’s been a cold week here in Stockholm and part of me wants to do nothing but curl up in bed with a good book while the cat sits on my head. Tomorrow night it’s supposed to go down to -19. Trust me, I’ve asked myself all week why I willingly gave up California and Georgia sunshine for this. But as much as I want to burrow under the covers, I can’t until I’ve posted my Thursday Thoughts post =).

So, besides the cold, what am I thinking about? Read more

2016 Reading Challenge

My post last week recapped the books I’ve read in 2015. In that post, I was excited to try to reach my goal of a book a week for 2016. With that in mind, I’ve created a reading challenge because I think they’re fun. I’ve based it on the alphabet =). Here it is:

  • Read a book with Animal characters.
  • Read a book by a best-selling British author.
  • Read a book with Cooking in it.
  • Read a Dystopian book.
  • Read a book with a character who’s an Engineer.
  • Read a book about Freedom.
  • Read a book about a Gift. Alternatively, read a book you received as a Gift.
  • Read a book about a character with memorable Hair.
  • Read a book where a character is Innocent.
  • Read a book written by an author whose name begins with J (first or last).
  • Read a book a King has read.
  • Read a book with a Long title (more than five words).
  • Read a book your Mother recommends.
  • Read a book by an author you’ve Never read before.
  • Read a book that has a character crossing an Ocean.
  • Read a book Published in 2016 and one Published the year you were 16.
  • Read a book about a Quest.
  • Read a book Recommended by your friend.
  • Read a book about a Spy.
  • Read a book about Time Travel.
  • Read an Urban fantasy book.
  • Read a book written by a military Veteran.
  • Read a book written by a mighty Woman.
  • Read a book with a Yellow cover.
  • Read a book about a Zoo.

Read more

Thursday Thoughts -Teeth and Trains

Thursday Thoughts are back! On Thursdays I normally share random thoughts I plan to use as writing inspiration or prompts. Over the holidays, however, I took off for two weeks and spent that time focused on my family. The kids start school again tomorrow which means I guess it’s back to work for me, too. And I like my job. Most of the time ;). Read more

2015 Reading Challenge Recap

20151219_104655In 2015 I posted a reading challenge. Forgot about it, did you? For those of you who didn’t, I know you’re dying to hear how it went.

Well . . . I got almost half of them ticked off. Here are the details:

  • A book with more than 500 pages — Mistborn: The Final Empire, Brandon Sanderson (these books are huge!)
  • A classic romance —
  • A book that became a movie — A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby
  • A book published this year —
  • A book with a number in the title — Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
  • A book written by someone under 30 —
  • A book with non-human characters — (technically The Amulet of Samarkand and Stroud’s other books fall here, but I used them for another entry).
  • A book by a female author — Oryx & Crake, Margaret Atwood
  • A mystery or thriller —
  • A book with a one-word title — Ireland, Frank Delaney
  • A book of short stories — Angels and Visitations: A Miscellany, Neil Gaiman
  • A book set in a different country — The Truth About You, Susan Lewis
  • A non-fiction book — Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy, Gabriella Coleman
  • A popular author’s first book — Storm Front, Jim Butcher
  • A book from an author you love that you haven’t read yet — I wanted to fill in this category, trust me, I did. American Gods is waiting for me, but I haven’t had a chance to pick it up yet =(.
  • A book a friend recommended —
  • A Pulitzer Prize-winning book — Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard
  • A book based on a true story —
  • A book at the bottom of your to-read list —
  • A book your mom loves —
  • A book that scares you —
  • A book more than 100 years old — Moby Dick, Herman Melville
  • A book based entirely on its cover —
  • A book you were supposed to read in school, but didn’t — Lord of the Flies, William Golding
  • A memoir —
  • A book you can finish in a day — Coraline, Neil Gaiman
  • A book with antonyms in the title —
  • A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit — (Ireland, Frank Delaney)
  • A book that came out the year you were born —
  • A book with bad reviews —
  • A trilogy — The Amulet of Samarkand, The Golem’s Eye, and Ptolemy’s Gate, Jonathan Stroud
  • A book from your childhood —
  • A book with a love triangle —
  • A book set in the future — The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
  • A book set in high school —
  • A book with a color in the title —
  • A book that made you cry — Redeeming Love, Francine Rivers
  • A book with magic —
  • A graphic novel —
  • A book by an author you’ve never read before — The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch
  • A book you own but have never read —
  • A book that takes place in your hometown —
  • A book that was originally written in a different language —
  • A book set during Christmas —
  • A book written by an author with your same initials —
  • A play —
  • A banned book — (Lord of the Flies, William Golding)
  • A book based on or turned into a TV show — (Storm Front, Jim Butcher)
  • A book you started but never finished —

Read more

2015 – Did it!

I keep a ‘Did it!’ list to remind me of my accomplishments throughout the year, because I tend to forget them. Despite all of my good intentions, I’m an emotional creature and the events that happen throughout the year that pull on my emotions stick with me way longer than anything else.

2015 was a tough year for us as a family. Our children began the year at a school we can only describe as atrocious. We finally got them into a new school, but had to overcome the transitional challenges. In the process, we discovered our daughter had autism. We’re still fighting our way through the system to get help and support. Last year, my husband also started a new job that required him to put in a tremendous amount of effort, from late nights to little or no vacation. We’re exhausted because all of these things took up, and continue to take up, most of our physical and emotional energy. Many of my own personal goals were pushed to the side and as 2016 dawned, I really, really, really looked forward to a new year.

But when I went back over my ‘Did it!’ list, I realized I did a lot this year.
Read more